Upcoming Events

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25- 29, 2018

It is with distinct honor that we, the Hosting Committee of the Hernando de Soto Historical Society, on behalf of President Jeff Rodgers and Hernando de Soto Ron Hernden would like to invite you to join us for our 2018 Heritage Festival. This year’s theme is HOT HAVANA NIGHTS!

Festival dates are Wednesday April 25 through Sunday April 29, 2018, and what a better place to celebrate than in Bradenton Florida, the landing sight of our namesake and world famous explorer Don Hernando de Soto. Please mark your calendars and share with your Krewes and festival royalties as we ask you to join us.

Over the years we have listened to your comments on how we select our queen and princess and we have decided to open the once private, member only event to you, our festival friends, and the public and thus, this year the activities will begin with an OPTIONAL invitation to attend Wednesday evening’s Queen Selection Banquet. Thursday is the official kickoff beginning with the Welcome Gathering, the Dignitary Reception and the infamous Goat Party. It’s an early rise on Friday with the traditional Pub Crawl, as we make our way through Bradenton’s finest establishments. As our festival Royal Family VIPs attend the Black and Gold Royal Dinner, the Conquistadors Feast is an excellent option for dinner prior to the Investiture of Don Hernando and the Coronation of his Queen at the De Soto Ball. The Poolapalooza party at the hotel’s poolside will begin Saturday’s activities. Our spectacular Grand Parade is next on the agenda followed by the After Parade Party which will culminate the day’s activities. Sunday brings us the Adios My Friends breakfast and Royalty Gift Exchange and another optional activity, the Island Dip, an excursion to Jewfish Key.

Once again, the Courtyard by Marriott - Bradenton Riverfront, will be the official host hotel of the De Soto Heritage Festival. Of course, the Hernando de Soto Historical Society warmly welcomes all members of your group to participate in the exciting events of our annual festival. Host hotel accommodations are initially offered to Official Visiting Royalty and guests that attend the entire weekend and purchase the complete package.

Finally, the 2018 Hosting Committee would like to extend our genuine gratitude for participating, as without you, our friends from near and far, there would be no celebration. Registration for Official Visiting Royalty and all guests is due by March 9, 2018. After this date reservations will be taken on a first come first serve basis. The final schedule of events will be electronically submitted to your designated representative just prior to festival week.


2018 DeSoto Havana Nights Hosting Packet


Fostering and facilitating an appreciation of Manatee County’s Spanish - American heritage and cultural alliances through special events, community collaborations and charitable giving Since 1939

6404 Manatee Ave. W. Suite G. 
Bradenton, FL 34209
(941) 747-1998
Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 5:00 
Sat - Sun: Closed